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How to Safely Introduce Nutritional Supplements into Your Diet

8/17 17:06:06
In today抯 world, many people take pills and do not even think twice. Whether they are pills prescribed from the doctor for a serious condition, or whether multiple aspirins are taken in order to relieve a headache or common body ache, it seems that everyone takes pills too freely.

Even with herbal and vitamin supplements, one needs to be careful when introducing a new supplement to their diet. Especially if a particular supplement has never been taken before, or if it is going to be combined with other supplements or medicine, it is best to first consult your health care practitioner before starting any supplement routine.

If you are in good general health, however, and do not make a habit of visiting your health care practitioner on a regular basis, you can probably start supplementing safely as long as you follow some sound yet simple advice.

If you are a woman, you will have to take into consideration your size and body frame. Many of the directions printed on the label of supplements are for an average adult male. If the supplement label indicates that you should be taking four capsules daily and you are a 5?, 100 lb woman, you may want to start with one or two capsules.

For women, another consideration is where you are in your cycle. Certain times of the month and hormonal fluctuations can interfere with the efficacy of certain supplements, and can even be problematic. Check the label for any such indication, and your best bet is to touch base with your OB-GYN to make sure this is not the case.

If you are pregnant or nursing, any safe supplement should clearly indicate on the label whether or not it is safe to take during these times. In the case of pregnancy or nursing, always consult your doctor even if the label does say it is safe.

Regardless of your gender, there are other safety issues to consider when supplementing your diet. First, do your homework. Before you start putting anything into your body on a regular basis, use the internet to check out whatever you can about the source of the supplement, what its effects are supposed to be, how it acts in the body, and anything else you can read about.

Be sure to purchase your supplements from a reputable source. Take care not to fall prey to scams, and not to buy from those about whom you have no knowledge. You may like the idea of a 揵uy one get one free?sale every time you purchase your supplements, or the idea of buying in bulk from companies that promise volume purchase reductions.

However, isn抰 it more important to make sure that the ingredients in the supplements are top-quality? In all likelihood, even if you did purchase supplements that were less than the best quality, you would probably just lose some of the drug抯 effectiveness and would hopefully not be harmed. Better to be safe than sorry, though.

One other very important consideration that deserves attention is contraindication. Contraindication means taking a medicine or supplement that is not supposed to be taken while you are taking another. In other words, taking a supplement that could have negative effects in the body while you still have some effects from another medication.

A good example of this is the herb that is commonly taken for depression and anxiety called St. Johns Wort. St. Johns Wort is an extremely effective herb that can produce far fewer side effects than many of the popular prescription medications. Medications such as Prozac, Paxil or Zoloft are part of a class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs. Other prescription-only drugs available for depression relief are those with brand names such as Nardil or Eldepryl, which belong to a class of drugs called monoamine oxidase inhibitors, or MAO inhibitors.

With any of these types of prescription drugs, it is important to be weaned completely before beginning to take St. Johns Wort. The side effects range from shortness of breath, to sexual dysfunction, to weight gain or weight loss, to nausea and headaches for many of the prescription drugs. While there are no such known side effects like these with St. John抯 Wort, the potency of the herb combined with the potency of the prescription drugs already in the body are likely to exacerbate any side effects you may be having. Also, it could cause you to become off-balance as far as the manageability of your anxiety and/or depression, just as you were beginning to feel better.

As with any other undertaking when it comes to your body and your health, you need to be smart about it. Follow these simple safety steps and you can rest assured that your supplement use will result in a positive, healthier experience.

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